Student arrested for too many absences

Mom upset son was arrested for too many absences

MUSKOGEE COUNTY, OK (KOKI/CNN) - A junior high student in Oklahoma was put in handcuffs and taken to an intervention center because the school believed he had missed too many days of class.

The student's mother is outraged, but the Muskogee Public School System says it's all perfectly legal.

"It’s my fault. Exactly. It’s not my 14-year-old son’s fault. He doesn't have a car to get himself there," said Stephanie, who didn’t want her last name published.

She’s upset her son, a student at Alice Robertson Jr. High, was treated like a criminal.

"I could visibly see marks on his wrists," Stephanie said.

He was handcuffed and taken to the community intervention center located behind the Muskogee County Jail Wednesday.

"Even if it's 20, they shouldn't have handcuffed him in front of everybody," Stephanie stressed.

She said most of the days her son missed were excused with doctor's notices.

"Kids get sick, and they don't always have to have a doctor’s note," Stephanie said.

Steve Braun, the director of communications for the school system said four absences in a four-week period can lead to a possible citation.

“That's Oklahoma state statute. It’s been on the books for decades now,” Braun said.

Muskogee Public Schools said they can't comment on specific cases, but Braun said on the fifth absence, a citation is issued and parents must sign, which he says they typically do.

"Parent comes in, signs the citation, and goes about the day," Braun explained.

If they don’t sign, students are taken to the intervention center, where parents are force to pick up their kids and sign the citation.

"I am willing to take responsibility for the days that he did miss," Stephanie said.

She said she understands, but she believes the school could have handled it a different way

“Them arresting him, putting handcuffs on him, and leaving marks on him and traumatizing him, in my perspective, is unacceptable,” Stephanie said.

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